DETROIT (WWJ) - Utility crews will continue working through the weekend to restore electricity to thousands of homes and businesses without power following this week’s severe thunderstorms.
DTE Energy said at midday Saturday that about 40,000 of its customers were without power, mostly in Oakland and Wayne counties. Consumers Energy reported about 19,600 of its customers were without power.
DTE says most of its customers should have power back by Saturday night. Consumers Energy says customers in the hardest-hit counties, including Genesee, Ingham and Clinton, may not have electric service until later Saturday or Sunday.
Most of those without electricity lost service after storms late Wednesday and Thursday.
Consumers Energy had 160 crew members on the job Thursday and said more are being called in from Indiana. DTE Energy says its crews are working 16-hour shifts.
“Our guys are going up the poles with 60 pounds of equipment, they’re wearing protective clothing, a lot of it is rubber, and it really keeps the heat within. So, they have to stay hydrated and it’s really a difficult process,” said DTE’s Scott Simons.
Simmons said trees knocked down by storms are making the restoration efforts more difficult.
“The tree damage has to be cleared before we make repairs. So, all the visuals of trees and downed limbs, all that has to be chopped up and taken away before our crews can even get to the powerline restoration,” he said.
At its peak, the outages affected about 325,000 DTE Energy customers and 104,000 Consumers Energy customers.
Saturday’s forecast calls for temperatures in the upper 90s accross southeast Michigan. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning, now in effect until 8 p.m. Saturday. (More on the Heat Advisory, here).
For the latest forecast, keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s. To check the local radar anytime or get further forecast details on our weather page.
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